As far as comedies go, Hall Pass has some good laughs. As far as FARRELLY BROTHERS comedies go, it ranks higher than Shallow Hal and The Heartbreak Kid but below Dumb and Dumber and There's Something About Mary. Jason Sudeikis will be a movie star someday because he owns every scene he's in. Owen Wilson is…Owen Wilson. There is a hilarious gag involving a Styx song and the movie rocks when these geeks try to convince themselves they're studs. And an almost unrecognizable Richard Jenkins is hilarious as well. It's only when they shoehorn a couple lame stock characters in that Pass fails. But Pass passes overall despite the obvious message at the end. If you laughed at the trailer you will laugh with this movie.

Stormy Curry


The Mechanic hums along like a well oiled machine. Jason Statham once again shines as the hit man who gets the job done and gets even with those who wrong him. A few nifty twists, some very cool action scenes, and a story that moves make this one of Statham's best movies to date. Kudos also to Ben Foster who takes what could be a stock character and turns him into someone more complex. This mechanic won't rip you off.

Stormy Curry


While not as snappy as the original, this movie's signal pleasure is
the return of the wonderfully natural Zachary Gordon. There aren't
many 13-year-olds who can shoulder most of a feature — ok, Christian
Bale in Empire of the Sun. But unlike that epic, DIARY 2 is a
disposable, if painless, trifle — yet it further showcases a kid
about whom it was already obvious has talent that could go the
distance. There's an almost Seinfeldian lack of plot this time around;
it's mostly Middle Child Syndrome snapshots, all of them familiar-to-
shopworn, some of them heartfelt, others synthetic. Zachary's chubby
friend Robert Capron is back and just as painfully sweet, but with not
quite as much good material. And Devon Bostick as the mean older
brother is like the love child of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Long; too
bad his relationship with Gordon doesn't reach Just Friends levels —
but that's a high bar to clear. — Jeff Schultz


Easily the best combination live action/animated feature about a
lovable hare since WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT — this time with CGI, not
drawn, characters. While the plot is a bit tatty (another sons-
resolving-issues-with-their-fathers tale), it's a happy, inventive,
and in at least one scene uncontrollable-laughter-funny romp. Keeping
in mind that this is a movie more perhaps for little kids than the
rest of us, what amazes is the standout cast who are sincerely inside
their roles. James Marsden's kid-like slacker Fred bonds perfectly
with “Russell Brand”s (voice of) E.B. We also get Gary Cole doing one
of his patented jerks and Hank Azaria doing one of his patented
accents; Kaley Cuoco, lovable as always; and a more than game, self-
mocking David Hasselhoff. More than a hundred small fry in the
screening audience, and they stayed with it all the way to the end.
I'm hip to HOP. — Jeff Schultz


There is a limit to how much an audience can stand, and here that
limit is reached at an ice rink. The rink is the end point for a
ridiculous chase scene involving the duller-with-every-picture Abbie
Cornish and our old friend, Generic Russian Mobster. It begins with
the damsel in distress on her cell phone hiding behind a rock, worsens
as she takes a “magic pill” with remarkably quick-acting properties,
and spirals down into laugh-out-loud land when a child's ice skate is
used as a weapon. Elsewhere in this slow, meandering thriller-without-
thrills we find that Bradley Cooper cannot carry a picture as the
lead, and that Robert DeNiro continues to make “paycheck movies” which
he sleeps through while occasionally pulling something from his bag of
tricks (the mirthless grin, the veiled threat, the fabulous hair). An
intriguing premise is never developed into anything more than that.
The denouement is confusing. And in between, the movie ping pongs back
and forth about the drug that triggers the story like a manic
depressive. Long before the end you stop caring. But there is one
truffle: a young actor mostly from television named Johnny Whitworth,
who jumps out of the screen in his two short scenes and ends up shot
to death all too soon. — Jeff Schultz


Matthew McConaughey has become a cliche. Romantic comedy buffoon who takes his shirt off way to often. He's become a joke. After his performance in THE LINCOLN LAWYER, maybe the joke has been on all of us. Matthew can act and play drama and do all the things a movie star is supposed to do. The movie, based on a Michael Connelly novel, is a classic courtroom crime drama with legal machinations right up there with ..AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. While McConaughey doesn't rant like Pacino, he does command the screen the way a leading man is supposed to. The supporting cast is nearly as good. Ryan Phillippe is creepy good as a rich boy who is all conniving evil. William H. Macy and Marisa Tomei are solid as usual. The story makes perfect sense in its world and never makes you roll your eyes. Less than three months into the new year, and this movie should hold a place in the Top 10 of the year! — Alan Yudman


If you’re okay with watching a movie where the characters and situations don’t come even close to real life, you will JUST GO WITH IT and enjoy the ride. Aniston once again rides  a real star’s coattails to box office gold in a funnier than it should be rom-com. Several funny one liners carry this predictable film and Nicole Kidman shines by playing an extreme version of, well, probably Nicole Kidman. Watching an Adam Sandler comedy, you get the feeling that everyone involved gets the joke, knows they’re not making high art, and are down with making themselves the butt of the joke. Extra credit to Nick Swardson who steals every scene he’s in. I went with it…and I’m glad I did.
-Stormy Curry  


A popcorn movie in every sense of the word, Battle: Los Angeles delivers exactly what it’s selling…nothing more, nothing less. No cliche goes unturned in this “us versus them ” shoot-em-up mish-mash of Black Hawk Down and ID4. “Skyline” tried to do the same thing months ago and failed in the biggest possible way because it overcomplicated a very simple premise. Nothing complicated about this one! Things go boom, we rally to beat the big bad, little kids lose their daddys and grown men show they care as they kill! Entertaining, not very logical, a complete B movie, and fun. Check out this Battle but do it at a matinee, don’t pay full price.  
-Stormy Curry  


How good is Matthew McConaughey in this movie? Best Actor nomination
good. This is the Matthew we've been waiting for: the goofball dude
grown up — and now an artist. Here, he seizes the screen with his
magnetic likeableness in inventive ways from start to finish,
including one stunning moment of pure silence. This crime and
courtroom thriller is like the marriage of Hitchcock's I Confess and
Pacino's …And Justice for All. It's a solid, if familiar story —
made glorious by a killer cast, one better than the next, with special
props to creepy weasel Ryan Phillippe as Matthew's foil/client. It all
unfolds like one of the greatest Perry Mason episodes you ever saw,
and since the cast is so strong and so large, each new scene brings a
fresh someone who's fun to watch. We have reached a verdict: this
movie is terrific. — Jeff Schultz


Fans of Simon Pegg and NIck Frost will go into PAUL with outrageously high expectations. The pair that brought us SHAUN OF THE DEAD and HOT FUZZ are really in their wheelhouse with a movie about aliens, comic books and geeks, right? Er, uh, not so much. This two hour trip from San Diego to Wyoming also travels from absurd to ridiculous with several stops at hilarious along the way. The premise involves to 30 something sci-fi geeks from England who travel to ComiCon for the first time. After the show they rent and RV with the intention of visiting noted alien tourist spots between California and New Mexico. The first half of the movie is an orgy of geekiness, with Pegg and Frost at nerdy best. They meet Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen) and that’s where the movie alternately takes off and screeches to a halt. And other than a bland appearance by the blah Kristen Wiig, I can’t put my finger on why. Maybe it’s because there is not enough Pegg and Frost being geeky. Too many moments where they aim for the heart, rather than the funny bone? Yeah, that could be it too. There are several really funny cameos and references to SciFi that only a true fan would recognize or love. Jason Bateman is good as always and Rogen brings the right comic touch to Paul. But it just doesn’t go over the top as far as SHAUN and FUZZ do. And that’s a shame, because this could have been really good. — Alan Yudman